I had a free moment, so I thought I would share some thoughts. The last couple of weeks have been rough. I have experienced two tragedies in my life: one I knew was eventually coming, and the other sucker-punched me in the gut.
Queenie has been gone for a little more than two weeks. I still consider myself grieving because little reminders of her bring tears to my eyes. I took her travel kennel out of the car (finally) for the last time. On the handle was her pink bandanna that she used to wear on occasion. I miss my dog. I know I can be a little emotional and sometimes wear my emotions on my sleeve, but that little booger that stole the mail for treats, eat underwear or socks and know she was in trouble by immediately going into her kennel, the three and four am wake-up calls, even the peeing in the house doesn't seem so bad. Truth is, I miss those things. But, I will always have the memories both the good and the bad. Even though her life was cut short, I have known for the past two years that this time would come, and even though my wife and I have had time to prepare for this inevitability, it is still difficult. Life is short, and we owe it to ourselves and our nation to take full advantage of life. Life is tough; in fact, some may consider it another four letter word. But, everybody gets one. Tell them Peter (Family Guy reference). And if you don't learn from life, you just might need a helmet to survive. Point is, especially in times of tragedy, there are life lessons to be learned.
The next tragedy completely through me off track. It truly was like a sucker-punch to the gut. A former student had died at the young age of twenty. With a bright future ahead of him, a well educated young man from a good family has left us. I coached him for two years and spent a lot of time on the baseball field with this young man. What he lacked in baseball ability, he made up for it with an unequal work ethic. He was the first one to the field and usually the last one to leave. He loved the game of baseball, and it showed. He never took things for granted and cherished every minute playing the game he loved. I will always remember this young man for what he did for this program. He was an example of how hard work can payoff. For instance, I remember one game he pitched against King his senior year. King was in our league, and they always seemed to have our number. After our pitching coach was tossed from the game for arguing balls and strikes, our head coach gave me the responsibility to call pitches. This was going to be fun. I literally called one pitch all day long. Fastball: with a little run, a little sink, and hitting spots. He was lights out; a bulldog. Truly extraordinary. I will never forget this day. I was just glad to be a part of it.
"You really don't know what you got, til it's gone." This is a lyric from the song by the eighties hair band Cinderella. This lyric has made me realize that we need to understand that life is short. We should never take life for granted because we don't know when it will end. Life is about learning lessons. We will need to know how to overcome tragedies when they occur whether or not we have time to prepare ourselves. We need to remember those moments in life that were good and try to hold onto those for as long as possible. We need to make sure that we take care of one another, comfort those in times of sadness, say a kind word, or simply do a good deed. You never know what kind of an impact you will have on a person or the impact they may have had on you until they are gone. Unfortunately, this is a lesson of life. But we will persevere as human beings as long as we have continue to share the one thing we all have in common: life.